What Does A Lawn Roller Do?

What Does A Lawn Roller Do?

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Rebecca
April 27, 2022
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If your lawn is uneven or you’ve just seeded it, it can be a good idea to roll it. This basically means smoothing it down and making it even, and you can best achieve this task with a lawn roller. 

What is a lawn roller? A lawn roller looks like a steamroller. You push it across your lawn to flatten and level the soil, while it can also be used to establish your seeded lawn.

Do you need to use a lawn roller on your grass? Here’s what you need to know about its benefits and how to use a roller for the best results. 

Benefits Of Using A Lawn Roller 

Benefits Of Using A Lawn Roller 

What does a lawn roller do? Here are some good reasons why you should consider using a lawn roller.

  • It ensures grass seeding success. If you’ve seeded or reseeded your lawn, using a lawn roller can work well to ensure that the seeds come into better contact with the soil. This improves their germination, so consider using a lawn roller after seeding your lawn.
  • It establishes sod. After you’ve installed sod, you should roll the ground so that air pockets are removed and sod will make better contact with the soil. This helps it to bond with the soil better. Before installing sod, you should flatten the ground with your lawn roller, and then you can use the roller again once you’ve installed the sod. 
  • It evens out your lawn. If your lawn has an uneven surface, such as if animals have made holes in it, you can roll it with a lawn roller to even it out and make it look better.

When Should You Roll Your Lawn?

When Should You Roll Your Lawn?

You don’t have to stick to rolling your lawn a certain number of times in the year – it’s much more effective to roll your lawn after doing some lawn maintenance.

For example, you should roll your lawn after you’ve seeded it or established sod, as we mentioned earlier.

You can also roll your lawn when your lawn is looking bumpy and uneven, and it’s also a good idea to roll it when a harsh winter has come to an end and the changes in temperature have caused soil in your lawn to heave.

This is when the ground moves upward, as a result of clay soils that tend to expand when they become wet. 

Different Types Of Lawn Rollers

Different Types Of Lawn Rollers

There are three main types of lawn rollers. These are: 

  • Towable lawn roller. This is a lawn roller that you secure to the back of your tractor. You can therefore pull the lawn roller while you use your tractor, which makes it easy to use. It’s ideal for very large lawns.
  • Push lawn roller. This is a roller that you push by hand when rolling your lawn. It’s lighter and some can even be powered by gas, which makes them even easier to use.
  • Push/tow roller. This is a combination of a push and tow lawn roller. This makes it convenient to use if you have to roll large areas of your lawn and be able to get into awkward or tight areas. 

How To Use A Lawn Roller 

How To Use A Lawn Roller 

Before using a lawn roller, its drum should be filled with sand or water to increase its weight so that you can make it heavier to flatten your lawn. 

A lawn roller is easy to use. You just have to walk around in your garden while pushing it in front of you, if you have a push roller. 

When using a lawn roller, push it from one end of your lawn to the other. If it’s attached to your tractor, drive the tractor from one end of the lawn to the other but drive slowly so that the roller spends enough time on all sections of the ground to flatten them. You will have to do several passes over the ground if it’s uneven or bumpy.

Should you fill your lawn roller with sand or water? It’s probably best to fill the lawn roller drum with sand. This is a bit more expensive than if you fill it with water, but what’s great about it is that you can leave it in the drum permanently.

With water, on the other hand, you will have to replace it after use as you can’t leave it in the roller otherwise it can damage it.  

Tips For Using A Lawn Roller Safely

Tips For Using A Lawn Roller Safely

You need to ensure you follow some tips when using a lawn roller. Here are the most important ones to know about. 

  • Never roll your lawn when it’s very wet. This can cause your soil to become compacted, which makes it hard for grass to get enough air, nutrients, and water that it needs to grow healthily.
  • However, the soil should be a bit wet. If you try to roll your lawn when the soil is too dry, this is also problematic. It won’t enable your grass roots to make enough contact with the soil, such as after seeding your lawn.
  • Avoid using a roller that’s too heavy. This can cause soil compaction. You can find a lightweight lawn roller that’s approximately 200 or 300 pounds, as it will ensure you can even out your lawn without causing your soil to become compacted.
  • You should roll your lawn in the spring. This ensures that the grass, which is coming out of its dormant stage, will be in its active growth stage.
  • Never roll your lawn if you have clay-heavy soil. This is because this type of soil becomes compacted more than other types, so rolling it will make your lawn become damaged. 

Is It Bad To Roll Your Lawn Too Regularly? 

Is It Bad To Roll Your Lawn Too Regularly? 

You should only roll your lawn when absolutely necessary. If you roll it more than once a year it can stress your grass, especially during the hot summer. Your grass could end up struggling to grow, which can also lead to patches of dead grass in your lawn. 

Alternatives To Rolling Your Lawn 

Alternatives To Rolling Your Lawn 

Seeing as though you can’t roll your lawn regularly, you should follow other tips to keep your lawn in good condition. Here’s a rundown of the best lawn maintenance rules to follow. 

  • Cut your grass at the correct height. Avoid cutting your grass too short as it will cause it to feel uneven when you walk on it, plus it makes your grass vulnerable to attacks from pests and fungus. You should mow your lawn to around three inches in height. This also makes the lawn feel spongy to walk on.
  • Apply topdressing. You should apply topdressing to your lawn’s low spots so that it will help to even out the surface of your lawn. Minor unevenness can be solved with a topdressing that has a thin layer of compost, sand, and soil. This is a leveling mix. 
  • Aerate your lawn. This will help you to open up spaces in compacted soil so that grass roots can get enough water, oxygen, and nutrients that they need to grow and become stronger. You should aerate your lawn once a year, as this is usually enough to prevent it from becoming too compacted. This is also the case if you have heavy clay soil in your lawn.  

​​Related Questions 

Can rolling your lawn get rid of moles?

Can rolling your lawn get rid of moles?

If you have a problem with moles burrowing into your lawn, rolling the grass can help to eliminate them because it fills out any holes in the lawn.

Should you use a steel or poly roller?

A lawn roller that’s made of steel is a good choice because it’s durable. However, it can corrode, so there’s also a poly – or polyethylene – roller to consider. It won’t rust and it’s lighter to move around, but it’s not as durable as steel.

Conclusion 

If you want to roll your lawn, it might not actually be the best idea. However, there are times when your lawn could benefit from a lawn roller.

In this article, we’ve looked at the benefits of lawn rolling, when to do it, and what tips you should bear in mind before using a lawn roller.

We’ve also looked at alternatives to using a lawn roller so you can keep your lawn in excellent condition, and these are important to bear in mind so your lawn can stay luscious and even all year round.

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Rebecca

Rebecca Vargas is an experienced gardener and landscaper and has been rendering professional services for many years. Her services cover both private homes and commercial properties. Leveraging that rich experience, Rebecca Vargas now dedicates a chunk of time to show just about anyone how to maintain their garden and yard, whether at home or workplace. GreenIQ is his way of reaching and teaching millions of homeowners across the globe about proper gardening and lawn care practices.